Novi Heder 2021 001 1

A Joint Biography

Jasmina Mihajlović

 

Jasmina Mihajlović(1960) and Milorad Pavić(1929 - 2009) are Serbian writers, but also a marital-romantic-literary couple, with an age difference of 31 years. She fell in love with him reading his books. She didn’t even know what he looked like. She fell in love with his Words. Later she graduated with a thesis on his stories in the Serbian capital, at the Faculty of Philology. And then she met him. He was already the famed author of the Dictionary of the Khazars, of world renown, winning over Europe and America with his books.

For a long time they thought they could never be together because of their age difference. But after five years of cooperating, without any physical contact, they realized that they couldn’t live without one another and decided to leave their former lives and marriages. They rented a one-bedroom apartment in Belgrade. Pavić was 62, Jasmina - 31. A war was raging through the Balkans.

His fame was fading in the West, and blossoming in Russia and South America.

They got married and lived in Belgrade and Paris, refusing to emigrate to France as they had been offered. Belgrade was home to their former families and their children from their previous marriages.

They travelled all over the world, despite the sanctions against Serbia during the war in the Balkans in the 1990's.

NOVA smanjena


Pavić wrote his books, and Jasmina mustered up the courage to follow her work as a literary critic with works of fiction, despite the fact that her husband's books had already been translated into 36 languages at the time.

And thus, although they lived together, they actually wrote each other long love letters. Stories, novels, plays. He would dedicate his books to her, she would write about their life in hers. Even in their literature they couldn’t survive without one another.

Yet their literary styles are so different. Pavić was lavishly turned towards the past and towards eternity, Jasmina - minimalistically towards the present and the future.

He died at the age of 80 and was immediately forgotten in his country and his home town. Yet all over the world quite the opposite was true!

She continued to work with his books and to publish his writings worldwide. She posthumously released 66 of his works. She even won over the Chinese publishing scene.

She takes care of his Bequest, bequeathed to his Belgrade, but continues to write her own books as well. Books in which he is still the main character.

During his lifetime the Russians built Pavića statue in Moscow, while in downtown Belgrade his statue was erected by Azerbaijan, because in Azerbaijani the Caspian Sea is called the Khazar Sea.

Milorad Pavić wrote 50 books and was translated into 38 languages. Jasmina Mihajlović has so far published eight books and been translated into English, Russian and Slovenian.

They will never stop loving each other. This is a literary and life story with a happy end.

(2014)


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